TOMOOC and attention spans

Our attention spans are not very long…maybe 20-40 minutes in front of a computer screen are all we can handle? We all are busy people, so sitting for two hours in front of a webinar can be daunting.
Also, web content should not be long and tedious. I learned in web design that paragraphs should be brief with lots of white spaces to rest the eyes.
Shouldn’t all this pertain to an online class as well?

Old School

Each morning at about 6:00 a.m. with a cup of coffee and a piece of toast or scone, I sit under the shade of our lime and tangerine trees in Kihei, Hawai`i. My chair and table are made of teak. The table is warped at one end because the previous owner left it out in the sun under a hot tub that needed repair. The birds above, mainly mynahs and pigeons, busily gossip on their perches as they eye the geckos that scurry through my orchids and succulents.

It’s the best time of my day. The sun is not yet over the skyline of Haleakala, House of the Sun, and the temperature is cool.

During this time, I write in a 5.5″ x 8″ leather bound book with lined pages whose edges are tinted with gold. Everything goes in there-the outcome from yesterday, what I expect today, my dreams, my frustrations, the things I am grateful for.

As an old school writing instructor at UHMaui College and Kaunoa Senior Center, tomooc is great. I look forward to teaching more online.

Fresh Meat

Sue Waters suggested a catchy title.

As I recall, fresh meat pertained to the beef, pork or poultry that was slaughtered and immediately displayed in a refrigerated glass and porcelain display case. Those were the days when everything was organic-at least in my part of the world.

My week consists of teaching English 100 Composition Courses at the UHMaui College Campus, and I conduct a biannual 5-week course in memoir writing at the active Kaunoa Senior Center sponsored by the County of Maui.

Other than that, I am a watercolorist and author. My original watercolors are presented by Hana Coast Gallery, and my memoir, Spirit of the Village A Maui Memoir, can be found at the Sugar Museum in Pu`unene and on

I joined tomooc to learn more about teaching online. I like the tools that this class is offering.

This blog site, Rightful Identity, was originally created to follow the writing process of my second book, a fiction based on three families, searching for their identities.

Interestingly, I am still defining my own identity. Which goes to prove that even at my age, one never stops searching and growing.

I am also a NWM professional. And that’s another topic.

Not Quitting

May 31, 2013-

Rightful Identity is on. Characters are bugging me for page space. They want to be heard, seen and read.

Their backstories color the novel. So I’m filling the black and white pages with a spectrum of individuals.

October 23, 2012

Dear Diary,

I haven’t had time to re-construct my novel, Rightful Identity. There is no other excuse other than being dissatisfied with it. I wondered if it will ever get done. I usually finish my projects.

The novel does not lay quietly. I’m constantly reworking it in my mind. There’s room in my schedule now, so the time has come to make that decision-complete it or forever leave it alone.

Nearly a year later

…and Rightful Identity’s progress still at bay.

As of this post, Rightful Identity had a trial opening-free ebook copies to the first 100 readers. It received mild positive reviews, although I felt it lacked character development and a stronger structure. Following my instinct, I decided to rewrite it.

I have time to rewrite on planes. I travel quarterly now, so imagine how the pace is.

Also, many local residents do not own ebook readers. I mean the real locals-you know-the people I grew up with; who would identify with the characters in this book. By publishing electronically, I grossly missed my mark.

Therefore, when the book is completed and republished, it will also be available in hard or soft cover.

As a self-publisher, I am not stressed by a due date. However, my goal to complete and re-publish it nags me, especially during this time of night.

It’s Out

Rightful Identity is now in print as of September 9, 2011.

If you’ve already read it, it’s time for you to post your comments. If you haven’t gotten a hold of a copy, these are the directions to get it:

1. Go to:

2. Subscribe to the free membership.

3. Turn off your adult content filter.

4. In the “Search” Box, enter Rightful Identity or Jackie Pias Carlin.


When you’re ready, send your comments in.